It’s Carole’s birthday tomorrow – all her presents arrived, huzzah – and we’re off to do an escape room because, duh, what else would we do? Well, I say escape room – we might be off to do two, depending on how we get on with the first one. I’m totally up for doing a couple because I bloody love the things… but I’ve been thinking today about the weird position my job puts me in.

When I’ve had other jobs, I certainly didn’t go out of my way to do things associated with those jobs when I had time off. I didn’t, for example, spend my time off from the bank counting money or looking at cheques.

And yet here I am in a position where I see the behind the scenes magic of an escape room on a day-to-day basis, and I’m actively seeking out more to do and see and drink in the greatness of.

It’s a pretty standard fare though, I guess, because you end up chatting with customers about the rooms you have done, rooms they have done and sharing experiences. You don’t really get that when you work in a bank. You can’t go up to people and say “Hey, have you been to such-and-such bank in so-and-so?” because everything’s a bit identikit. Like a Premier Inn – not that I am knocking a Premier Inn – but you could be dropped blindfolded into a room at a random Premier Inn and have no idea where the hell you were in the country.

There’s also, now, the added pressure of potential fails. It was bad enough anyway – is bad anyway – carrying any sort of unbroken record of successful escapes, but when you now the inner workings of puzzles – the ideas behind them and so on – it carries a bit more pressure with it. How can I show my face at work if we fail miserably to escape tomorrow. Potentially twice.

But then there’s the competitive streak as well – I know that my boss has done this room in a respectable time. I’d quite like to beat that. And when I say quite like, I mean I would bloody love to get in there and beat his time. He’d say he was hampered by his wife being eight and a half months pregnant and I’d say it was no time for excuses and then everything would get awkward at work every time we see each other. But hey, it’s always good to know someone else who’s done a room so you can pit yourself against them.

Not that we are in any way competitive.

We haven’t had a pep talk this evening about being on our A game tomorrow. I haven’t been told to have an early night tonight, because I can’t let the team down. None of that. We’re just going to have a bit of fun in celebration of Carole’s birthday.

But it’s never fun to lose, is it?